I had a recent visit to Taipei Taiwan in 2019 & 2020. Is it still a great place to visit? Who is this destination for? This city changes fast. There are new places to stay, eat, and even get around. For example you can take the MRT from the Airport direct to the city. Let me help you get an Expat local insider view into Taipei.
Taipei is a great spot if you’re not too price sensitive, you want a blend of nature and the big city, great food, fast internet, and cultural experience.
Taipei is a destination for digital nomads or travelers that are looking for a safe, convenient, a relatively affordable food paradise. The locals are friendly and there is lots to see and it’s easy to get around on public transport. Internet is never an issue with their fast 4g unlimited data plans.
There are lots of nice little pockets in Taipei. Some areas I enjoy are Daan especially near the Daan Park station, dongmen mrt, Xinyi Anhe, Songshan, and zhongshan just to name a few. If you want the ultimate convenience you can stay near Taipei main station, beimen, or ximen stations. The airport mrt goes directly to beimen and taipei main giving you less transfers to go through if you carry a lot of luggage.
The time is ripe to be a digital nomad in Asia. You may have heard of the remote year that organizes groups year round in Asia and around the world to remote work. They organize accomodation, co-work space, and logistics for you. However, it is quite expensive and sometimes you may want to organize your own trips, but need some inspiration and information to do so.
I’ve been working Remote since 2013 and invested time to live and experience the laptop lifestyle from Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Bali, And South Korea and more. There’s a lot this side of the world has to offer: Fast Internet, Cowork spaces, Community, Food, Cheap Travel witin the region, good hot sunny weather, and cost of living that are about 1/3 of the cost of Vancouver Canada. h
If you were interested in arming yourself with essential info like survival guide, co-working, and developing production skills. Click to check out some of the free lessons in the course which is set to launch soon
The Digital Nomad Course was designed for Remote Workers, Digital Nomads, and Freelancers that want to start their entrepreneurial journey and do a workation or working holiday in Asia. Included in the course are living guides that contain essential information for the digital nomad in locations such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cebu and Bali. There is deep information on locations such as Taiwan, Malaysia, Taiwan, and South Korea. You are also going to get some additional tips that you may encounter living this lifestyle on a long term basis. Some examples are the lifestyle design, productivity, and time management tips.
Digital Nomad in Asia Free Lessons
You are going to learn more than just the guides though.
As a Digital Nomad Videographer of 7 years I share tips for producing Video and Audio Content. I also share some Business and Marketing tips I’ve learned that any freelancer or entrepreneur could apply to their business. You can join the course here
Podcasting is a mature platform and a great way to reach a new audience on itunes, spotify, google music, stitcher and more. I’ve been podcasting since 2015 and have since published 40 episodes. Here I share why you should podcast and tips for doing it.
I study a Social Media Videographer Influencer called the full-time filmmaker with over 700k subscribers on Youtube. I study how he is used social media, his business model, and other keys to his success. My Podcast on itunes https://t.ly/28DGO Fulltime filmaker Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/pawalbeck
South Korea has a lot to offer for digital nomads. Great food, fast internet, modern infrastructure, yes local craft beer, 6 month visas, and more. In the past couple of years I had a chance to visit Seoul and Busan several times over the years.
Who is Seoul For?
I think Seoul is for a Digital nomad that is more established and that loves the big city vibes. I found Seoul to be a bit overwhelming, but it’s great to experience. There are many co-work spaces, it’s modern, fast internet, easy to get around, and there are lot of difference areas you could base yourself or just transit through. Seoul has the incheon airport, which connects it to Malaysia as well as Vancouver Canada.
Who is Busan For?
Busan is the second largest city and it has several awesome beaches like gwangalli beach . I prefer Busan as it is more chill, and the city feels more manageable, and you still get a lot of the perks of South korea like fast internet, modern city, and safety. Busan also connects to Kuala Lumpur and Nagasaki Japan. If you want to find out more about Busan check out this article.
More about Seoul
Seoul has amazing food for the soul like pork rib bone soup, dumplings, bugolgi beef bbq, bim bam bop and more. I decided to make a visit to film and sample the food and use Seoul to fly to Vancouver. South Korea has potential for Digital nomads despiet the higher cost. We will be exploring some of the info that digital nomads want to here.
Getting in, getting connected, and Where to Stay
I booked a 6 hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, but you can find cheap flights from Bangkok or Taipei. Unfortunately Ubers’s are expensive so I took an airport limo bus ($9 us) to the Ramada hotel in Dongdaemun. The bus pretty much stopped in front of the hotel. I decided to rent a mobile router as it would give me 4g Internet unlimited data up to 3 devices. This cost me $42 us for the 5 days. They also had single sim packages.
Where did I stay
I stayed at the Ramada Encore hotel in Dongdaemun. I did plenty of research between my friends, airbnb, and trip advisor. I found the airbnb’s more on the high end, and the Ramada had the right combination of value, convenience, location, good reviews, and it was a modern hotel. As I said I got dropped off right in front of the hotel. There is a starbucks, convenience store, bus stops, and the Shinseoldong Subway station within a 2 minute walk radius. This subway is on line 1 and goes directly to city hall station. The lobby has a decent work area and local coffee shop and nearby starbucks was spacious and featured a fast Internet connection. I got a good room on the corner of the 16th floor. The was room was relatively spacious for Seoul, everything was clean, modern, and I had a decent view. The wifi wasn’t as fast as I wanted, but I just used my mobile router. The staff spoke a decent level of English to help me get around.
What did I eat and drink
I ate everything from noodle soups, dumplings, fried chicken, beef bulgolgi, jap chae potato noodles, bim bam bop, and pork rib hangover soup to name a few. I marked some pins for the restaurants I went to. You could find a good meal for about 7000 won $6.2 US. The portions were large, and fresh kim chi and side dishes seemed to come standard. I tried the local beer Cass and also some craft beer in Hong dae and Itaewon areas. I recommend trying out the Magpie Ipa in Hongdae. It comes from Jeju island and goes for about 7000 won. Coffee’s ranged from 3000 to 4000 won and offered free wifi.
I took some pov footage from the bus and airport limos using DJI Osmo to capture that unique perspective. If you’re interesting in filming with this camera check out my course. I know its hard to unpack to get out the camera after a long trip, but I made an extra effort because I knew taxis would be expensive. I used the DJI osmo to capture some unique angles at Gangnam and Itaewon areas. I brought out the Canon SLR with the 50mm F 1.4 to capture some nice nightlife footage as well. I explored the hotel and discovered they had rooftop access. I took full advantage of this to get some aerials around Dongdaemun. I brought my drone, but from my research it seemed like if I didn’t fly at the designated drone park at Hangang park Seoul, then I might be at risk for a fine. From my research the footage from there wasn’t particularly scenic and it was at least 1.5 hours in transit just to get there. Instead I went to the DJI Flagship store in Hongdae area. I understand that there are only some official flagship stores worldwide so I made the visit. It was worthwhile as I got to see pretty much all the current gear and get some hands-on with the DJI goggles connected to DJI Mavic and touch the latest small drone dji spark. I ended up partnering with my local friend to complete filming of a Digital nomad guide to Seoul Korea.
I decided to switch my workflow to less laptop work and more content producing footage. This is always more fun and makes more sense on a short expensive trip. I rather do the laptop work from a location that I’m going to be more settled in. I worked at some cafe’s like Starbucks, the Ramada Encore lobby, my room, and the Noah Co-work space. I tried to make a visit to the free Dcamp cowork space, and Hive Arena and Wework at Gangnam They were closed due to holiday. Dcamp is free and the latter 2 are paid co-work spaces, which are not cheap The cafe Internet speeds were fast enough to get some work done.
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4 days is just scratching the surface of Seoul. It is a large city and although there is good public transport it takes a long time to get around to the different areas. I didn’t really explore the main tourist attractions nor did I visit many co-work spaces, nor did I visit Jeju island. If I did return to Seoul I would bring some company and might try out Gangnam or Hongdae areas. Seoul is not as expensive as you would think once you have taken care of your accomodation. It will just take time to fully expore what it has to offer.
I was contracted to do a last minute video shoot in Tainan Taiwan. Taian is a one hour train ride away from Taiwan’s third largest city Kaoshiung. In this post you’ll get an idea of Tainan is worth your time.
You can get into Tainan Taiwan via Kaoshiung Airport via Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. If you’re in Taipei you can take the high speed railway from Taipei. The train prices are no expensive. I would recommend getting your sim cards at the airport or in Taipei city. There are pretty good plans that offer unlimited sim card data at 4g speeds. I paid 450 nt for 8 days with Taiwan mobile. A sim card is key to getting the most out of Tainan or Taiwan in general.
I would recommend staying somewhere near the Tainan station as there are a lot more restaurants, bars, and cafes. I stayed near the dive bar, which is considered west Tainan downtown and is very walkable. There are plenty of airbnb’s to choose from in the city.
Getting around can hard during the day because it is very hot. You can use the Easy taxi app as at the time there are no grab or uber taxi’s. However there is food panda and uber eats. I would recommend renting one of the city’s bicycles if you have time as the city is very flat.
As for things to do you can do you can visit the restaurants to enjoy beef noodle soup, beef soup, dumplings, taiwan teppanyaki and more. It can be hard to find these places if you don’t know how to type chinese so I create a google map with some posts to start off with. There are plenty of temples to see and there are some bars like the dive bar you can visit. You can see most of Tainan in a couple of days and then I would recommend heading into Kaoshiung Taiwan
As for Digital nomads Tainan could support your needs, but there are better options such as Taipei or Kaoshiung. Check out my Taiwan digital nomad guide if you need some help here. There weren’t a lot of cafe’s and cowork spaces that looked laptop friendly. There is the occasional starbucks you can sit at, but finding a comfortable place to stay long-term could be challenging because most of the buildings in town are older. To get around you would need a motorbike, or making use of the local bus or train system. The local taxis can really add up. Overall, there would be more to do outside of Tainan.
The main reason I went to Tainan was to film a baseball event as I do Travel Videography, but my main base for this year has been Malaysia. If you’re curious about the Travel videographer lifestyle and want to learn more about video, travel, or business check my Online School.
Filming on a Gimbal allows you to raise the production level of your Video by allowing your to film super smooth shots and add to your arsenal of shots. For example you can program the gimbal using the app to automate the motion path allowing you to creating things like motion lapses or even the 360 video inception shots. See some sample footage and learn more in this video
Facebook Marketplace is a great way to sell your used goods locally and it’s fairly simple. I’ve sold a lot of my used stuff in Thailand (mostly camera stuff) and Vancouver like my SLR camera, camera lens, tripod, and most recently my camera slider. Learn more about how I do it on the video.
In 2011 I took a major risk. I sold my apartment in Vancouver Canada to fund my dream of starting a travel related business. I left a stable high paying IT manager job in Vancouver after getting my MBA degree. Why? I wasn’t happy. I knew it was time for the next chapter of my life. I discovered my passions for Travel, Video, and Business. After the travel venture didn’t work out I ended going on a tour of Asia for my friends wedding in Taiwan along with my SLR camera. It was eye opening, but I eventually ran out of money.
I went back to corporate life again in 2013 all the while I was experimenting with creating my first product. It started as a trip to Asia on vacation and then a working holiday to Taiwan in 2013. I sold my apartment, car, and packed a laptop and my camera with my dreams. 6 years later I found myself sharing my lessons learned with the next generation of travel videographers
After a 13 year career in IT in Vancouver Canada and a university and MBA degree from SFU I decided to needed a change. I went through a process of self discovery to determine what my values and passions were. (Travel, Business, Video). It started as a trip to Asia on vacation and then a working holiday to Taiwan in 2013. I sold my apartment, car, and packed a laptop and my camera with my dreams. 6 years later I found myself sharing my lessons learned with the next generation of travel videographers in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Chiang Mai, was an important part of my Entreprenuarial journey and it’s great to be able to give back some knowledge to the community.
Being a Long-term Travel Videographer has been an Entrepreneurial journey. In this interview filmed in Kuala Lumpur with Stacia Wilson I share how I got started traveling and starting a business , how I make revenue, and some nuggets of wisdom
How to Earn by licensing your Footage
Chiang Mai Living Guide
My Digital Nomad in Asia Facebook Page